Scientific research has shown us that mothers with infants are able to determine their child specifically through smell, and studies show that, parents learn to also determine their infant’s wants and needs through body language. Since infants are obviously unable to talk, or motion for what they need at such an early age, body language is very important to parents, because body language can say more than words.
Parenting.com gives us an explanation of what different body gestures mean in infants. One common activity infants partake in is kicking their legs. Parenting.com states that this could mean they are entertained or amazed by something they see, or it could also mean that they want to be held. When an infant kicks their legs, they are putting their excited energy into something productive, since they are unable to tell what they are feeling. They suggest sharing in the enthusiasm of the infant to ensure correct growth of communication.
When an infant arches their back, it could mean one of two things. Either it means that they are upset, or that they are hurting (a possibility is reflux, a painful condition where acid flows back up into the esophagus.) If the infant is, in fact, sick, parents should take serious measures and bring their child to a pediatrician. Sickness, especially in infants, could be serious if left alone. Parenting.com suggests soothing the child, and if they continually arch their back, especially at night, take the infant to a pediatrician to rule out illness. If calming the child does not seem to work, it is a good possibility that they are hungry or need a diaper change.
In conclusion, once taught, parents are able to tell what their infant wants by the way their face looks, or even through their body language and gestures. Since infants obviously cannot talk, parents can decipher, for example, whether stretched out arms mean a good mood, or attempting to keep balance.
So what can this guide teach new parents? Well, for one, parents can now have a better understanding of what their infant actually needs compared to what they might possibly need. Parents can also determine when something serious has happened to their infant, such as pain, or a serious illness, compared to simple needs, such as boredom or needing a nap. If parents could realize the difference between these needs, parenting would surely be a lot easier.
Warnick, Melody. “Interpreting baby body language.” .